How many times can a DirecTivo be upgraded?

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by SPEEDYPCSERVICE, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

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    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    I have a Hughes SD-DVR40 that I have upgraded from the original 40GB to a 120GB. I then upgraded from 120GB to TWO 160GB but this was before the 6.2 software came out so it's actually only TWO 137GB. I tried to upgrade one more time by taking the TWO 160GB pair and transferring to a 300GB single drive but it failed and said I didn't have a large enough target. 160+160=320 instead of 137+137=274 I suppose is why it failed. So, I tried again using a 400GB single as the target but got a different error I believe something about wanting a pair of drives as the target. Sorry I don't have much info but I tried so many methods it's driving me nuts! The problem I have with connecting 2 target drives is there are not enough IDE connectors in my PC. I need to boot from the CD and that takes up 1 of the IDE's leaving only 3 left. My PC also has a built-in Ultra/ATA controller but the MFSTOOLS2 CD must not have support because I do not see any drives connected there. To make this even more complicated, I am trying to save the 100+ movies, etc. on the source pair of drives otherwise I would simply use my original 40GB image and expand it onto the 400GB and 300Gb pair giving me a bunch of recording time. As a last ditch effort I even hooked up a hard drive I have running Fedora Core 2 Linux and copied all the MFSTOOLS2 info over to it but it didn't like the commands. I did this because I CAN boot to Linux installed on a hard drive connected to the Ultra/ATA connector leaving all 4 IDE connectors available for all 4 drives. Is it possible to burn the MFSTOOLS2 image to a spare hard drive rather that a CD? If so, then that should allow me to boot. I am stumped at this point. Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Tracy RainH2o

    Tracy RainH2o Photo Man

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    Nov 17, 2005
    Georgia
    Well, I am still very much a Tivo upgrade/hack newbie but................... ;)

    I would download the LBA48 boot disc from PTV Upgrade. It's kernel and version of MFSTools will allow you to utilize the full capacity of any large drive. After you have the boot CD decide how you want to upgrade. For example expand both your existing drives to full capacity, replace both drives with two new drives or replace both drives with one REALLY BIG drive.

    http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/hinsdale-how-to/index9.html
    has options for all of the above. While you're at it, install The Zipper and the enhancement scripts which are found in the Tivo Underground forum.

    Have fun........I have. :D
     
  3. JamieP

    JamieP Member

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    Aug 2, 2004
    MFStools runs fine on a hard disk installed linux distribution. I'm not sure why you had trouble. Did you use the statically linked executable here?

    In generally, you'll probably run out of partitions if you try to move from a dual drive to a single drive while preserving recordings. There are only 16 partitions available on a tivo drive, and you probably have more than that on your dual drive setup. Unfortunately, mfstools 2.0 can't merge partitions as it copies from the old pair to the new drive. There is an ugly manual workaround [reference], but it's only recommended for the curious/adventuresome/foolhardy/informed tivo hackers.
     
  4. SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

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    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    I traced the problem to my motherboard's built-in Ultra/ATA controller. My best system is running a P4 2.4GHz but apparently MFSTOOLS2 LBA doesn't support the Ultra/ATA controller built-in to that motherboard, so I dug up an old PIII 333Mhz system that has connectors for 4 IDE drives and 4 Ultra/ATA drives. I just booted from the MFSTOOLS2 LBA CD with a few spare drives connected to the Ultra/ATA connectors, and now I can see ALL the drives, so my next experiment will be to try my pair of Tivo drives and a pair of blank drives and try the transfer. Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll post my results later. HAPPY NEW YEAR ! :)
     
  5. SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

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    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    Well, even though MFSTOOLS2 LBA can "see" all my drives, I am getting an error. I'm sure it doesn't like me trying to copy all those recordings and/or I ran out of partitions, but even when doing an "mfsinfo" on each drive or pair of drives, I also get a similar error, so my guess is it can only see IDE drives, not any connected to an Ultra/ATA controller. Attached are pictures of the drives being recognized, then the error I get when doing the copy. Any help at this point is much appreciated. Thanks! :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  6. JamieP

    JamieP Member

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    Aug 2, 2004
    You need to populate /dev with all the devices. I believe the standard mfstools isos only have /dev/hd[a-d], so you need to mknod the additional device files. See this post for details. Either that, or use only /dev/hd[a-d].

    It might be easier to just boot FC2 and use mfstools there, if you already have it installed. Note that with the static mfstools, it's all linked together into a single multic-call app called "mfstool", Instead of "mfsrestore ..." you run "mfstool restore ..." etc.
     
  7. Jan 1, 2006 #7 of 14
    SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

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    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    This info was VERY helpful. Thanks!

    mknod /dev/hde b 33 0
    mknod /dev/hdf b 33 64
    mknod /dev/hdg b 34 0
    mknod /dev/hdh b 34 64

    It's still not working but I think one of my target drives (400GB Seagate) may be the problem. I still have a few more things to test, but I should have this figured out soon.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2006 #8 of 14
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    1,886
    311
    May 15, 2002
    You don't say whether or not you are trying to keep you recordings or not. It looks like you are. You are limited to the number of times you can expand while keeping your recordings. After that, you will have to restore directly from a backup image. If you had to do this, the season passes and other settings would still be saved.

    Use "mfsinfo" on both your Tivo drives, it will tell you how many times you can expand.

    You are also having problems with your IDE controller as well, but you seem to have them figured out.
     
  9. Jan 4, 2006 #9 of 14
    SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

    13
    0
    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    I did a MINIMAL install of Fedora Core 4 Linux to a spare hard drive, then copied the MFSTOOLS2 commands to the /bin directory. I then booted Linux from this hard drive connected to the Ultra/ATA controller leaving all 4 IDE's available for ALL 4 drives (2 source drives and 2 target drives). I ran mfsinfo on the pair of source drives with it saying I could expand 1 more time. So, I did the transfer overnight only to find there were some hard drive errors, but it DID finish to 100%. I ran mfsinfo on the new pair of drives to see it show I could expand 0 times now, which I expected. After placing the new pair of drives into the DirecTivo, all recordings appear to remain intact. I checked most of the approximately 200 hours of recordings and cannot find any problems yet. The only problem I did notice is the recording capacity only shows 497 hours? I have another DirecTivo using 2 - 300GB drives and it's capacity is 527 hours. My new upgrade is a 400GB + 300GB combo so I would expect it to be well over 600 hours. I suspect the drive errors may be the problem so I am running diagnostics on all 4 drives and will report any findings here later. Thanks to all for the advice (especially JamieP). :up:
     
  10. JamieP

    JamieP Member

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    Aug 2, 2004
    I'll bet it expanded on one disk but not the other. It has to expand twice to fill both disks, and it might not have had enough partition pairs free to allow that. If you examine the partition tables on the two new disks with pdisk, I'll bet you'll see a large "Apple_Free Extra" partition on one disk or the other. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about this unless you want to do the dirty "partition merge" trick I linked to earlier. Either that, or give up on preserving your recordings and start over with a "shrunk" image.
     
  11. SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

    13
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    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    Yeah, I'm not sure what to do next. I am just happy the transfer worked even though I didn't get the expected capacity. I am still running a test on my 2 source drives just to be sure there are no real problems.

    I have a question regarding the "Zipper" program I have been reading about on here. I know my R10 DirecTivo will not work with Zipper, but I have another Hughes DVR-40 I could experiment with. Is it possible to run Zipper on both DVR-40's and use one to back up the recordings to the other? Does Zipper change anything while running which would cause the loss of any recordings when using it? If not, then what is a known good USB to Ethernet adapter I should use to add both units to my PC network? Thanks again for the above info. I am learning more about Linux and Tivo than I thought possible for an old bum like me. :)
     
  12. ddrumer

    ddrumer New Member

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Well i Zippered two sd-dvr40's. one has the stock drive and the other i had expanded to 60 gig. (I can't imagin 600+ hrs of programming) Anyways, no the zipper basically prepares the drive for "enhancements" (from what I can tell) It will copy a hacked kernal (not provided) and sets up networking. Using it in conjunction with the rbautch's enhancement script you can get the hacks done, enable hmo in less than an hour (most spent actually moving the drives around) and preserve recording. I use only D-Link for my network which includes two DUB-E100 USB 2.0 to Ethernet. Oh, the enhancement script will put USB 2.0 drivers on it for you!!! YAY!!! Give it a shot, quick and very simple.

    ddrumer
     
  13. SPEEDYPCSERVICE

    SPEEDYPCSERVICE Computer Repair Tech

    13
    0
    Mar 5, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    Thanks for the info ddrumer! Yes, I am hoping to keep my 200+ hours of recordings on my DVR40 even if it means using Zipper to enhance both units. I also have an R10 that I can't use Zipper on but my last upgrade was using 2 - 300GB drives giving it 527 hrs. capacity! That's why I was disappointed when my last upgrade on my DVR40 using a 400GB + 300GB drive combo only showed 497 hrs. instead of 600+ hrs. My last test shows a drive error saying drive B did not get expanded so it's either because Mfsinfo showed only 1 more upgrade available or something else went wrong. One of my 160GB source drives may be going bad but Maxtor's PowerMax program says it repaired something while doing a full scan. Zipper sounds like a cool program so that will be my next experiment to try. :)
     
  14. ddrumer

    ddrumer New Member

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Please forgive me b/c i can't remember where, but i read somewhere that the diagnostic programs for hdd's can't always detect the problems with the drive units. Oh i do remeber, its in Hinsdale How-to TiVo Upgrade. read the aquiring a drive section, its not in depth but, its info.

    ddrumer
     

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